Gibney: The Best Dining Experience We’ve Had In Perth

Boasting breathtaking panoramic Indian Ocean vistas, this luxurious fine dining establishment on the shores of South Cottesloe is gracing the foodie bucket lists of many.

Gibney: The Best Dining Experience We’ve Had In Perth

Boasting breathtaking panoramic Indian Ocean vistas, this luxurious fine dining establishment on the shores of South Cottesloe is gracing the foodie bucket lists of many.
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Very few restaurants have harnessed the buzz that brand-new beachside brasserie Gibney has amassed since its announcement in 2023. And for good reason. For starters, it’s all about the location — blissfully overlooking the pristine beaches of Cottesloe, on the corner of Marine Parade and Gibney Street.

An old-world brasserie grill

Gibney Cottesloe
Credit: Supplied

“A lot of brasseries are classically named after the streets they’re on, it’s like a destination pointer. The affluent vibe of Cottesloe — probably the state’s most affluent beachside suburb — is a great representation of the product we were trying to put out. It all just harmonised really well,” owner and Kailis Hospitality Group managing director George Kailis said.

With enough room for 160 diners, almost 600 square metres of oceanfront hospitality, and unmatched views, Gibney is easily the fanciest of all the venues under the George Kailis name. Since opening in May, the oceanside eatery has risen to the top of the food chain and might just be the most opulent dining destination in Perth.

“We define ourselves as formal dining. Gibney is an old-world brasserie grill with a formal level of service and hospitality. The experience, menu, drinks service, ambience, design, fittings, and music are all elevated in their offering. It’s very different for WA, there’s nothing you can compare Gibney to in Perth,” Kailis said.

Upon walking inside, it’s all soft seats and ceiling details, white tablecloths and linen napkins, marble and immaculate staff uniforms. Behind the design and fit-out is the Perth-based Rezen Studio whose original brief was “6-star Parisien hotel lobby meets coastal Californian country club”. The local architecture and interior design firm is also behind fellow beauties La Lune and Vin Populi.

“Everything was formed on the basis of the brief, but with a uniquely Cottesloe feel. The greens reflect the surrounding shrubbery, and everything in the venue is about being West Australian. We took a contemporary, almost futuristic approach to what a brasserie could be. The interior design is quite maximalist, but it all comes together and works harmoniously.”

Elegant details ooze a vision of opulence 

Credit: Supplied

According to Kailis, the proof is, indeed, in the pudding, and it’s all about the details. 

“I love the absolute finite details of everything, so Gibney is inspired by 25 years in the industry. It was a two-year process to ideate how the restaurant and branding would look. Every detail is considered,” he said.

“Everything from the décor to the design is jazz piano-esque. We had to be very conscious that everything reflected a very classic and timeless aesthetic.”

Meticulous is an understatement when it comes to the grandeur of Gibney’s dining areas. Bespoke touches of elegance are dotted throughout the opulent interior. While a series of banquettes frame the space, where chefs perform directly in front of guests.

From the restaurant’s two hundred square metre alfresco terrace, the panoramic views span south to Fremantle and north to Cottesloe. Garden Island and Rottnest are also visible on a clear day.

“When it comes to what makes the restaurant stand out in the Perth food scene, it’s the total package of location and product. When dessert comes out, we’re dressing it table-side. Special aspects like this separate us from other venues who can’t afford that investment. We are giving people different experiences through that investment in hospitality.”

“We have some of WA’s best chefs, sommeliers, and waitstaff, along with expensive décor, and a multi-million dollar view. To me, that’s good value.”

The food

Dishes at Gibney
Credit: Supplied

At the helm of all things culinary genius is Head Chef James Cole Bowen, who previously worked as sous chef at Le Rebelle and head chef at The Corner Dairy in Doubleview. 

According to Cole Bowen, inspiration can come from anywhere, not just cookbooks or restaurants. For him, it can be music, art or even fashion, but it usually always starts with an ingredient or producer. For Gibney, the vision stemmed from old-world brassieres of the past.

“We are driven by produce so we try to stick to classic flavours and sauces with a bit of nostalgia thrown in for good measure. Being by the beach, we are definitely seafood leaning and implement lots of great ingredients from the coastline,” Cole Bowen said.

“The produce that touches our wood-fire grill has been flying out the door — steaks, lamb, swordfish, lobster and a lot of vegetables too. Our desserts have been incredibly popular also, so you definitely don’t want to skip those,” he said. 

Gibney fuses upmarket bistro fare with old-school service. Characterised by caviar bumps, hand-made pasta, top-tier steak cuts, and one of Perth’s largest champagne lists, the menu champions local West Australian produce. This helps to keep the food miles down while supporting a range of small producers, farms, and businesses. 

There’s also a dedicated seafood grill section and a crustacean bar. Plus, a dessert trolley and other tableside serving theatrics. Dining at Gibney is as much about the experience as it is the food.

“Some of the highlights on our opening menu include sourdough by Bread Bros in Doubleview, scallops from Shark Bay, swordfish from Fremantle, a variety of mushrooms from The Mushroom Guys, beef from Futari Wagyu and the Stirling Ranges, and lamb from Amelia Park.” 

“Our olives and olive oil come from Great Southern Groves in Albany. Along with Cervantes’ western rock lobster, and La Delizia cheese.”

Food-wise, you can expect the likes of cured hiramasa kingfish, tempura oyster mushroom, spaghetti with Shark Bay clams, and Stirling Ranges ribeye. Best enjoyed before the famed Gibney chocolate cake, coconut sago, and strawberries and cream.

The wine

Gibney Cottesloe
Credit: Supplied

The award-winning group sommelier, Nina Throsby, also handpicked Nicole Wewiorski — who was previously at Meat & Wine Co — to deliver Gibney’s first-class wine program. 

Comprising a cool 550 wines over 72 pages, the extensive list details offerings of champagne, whites, reds, rosé, and fortifieds from Australia and around the world. It pays homage to those who established, defined, and elevated patches of dirt, to the revered ground now recognised as globally famed wine regions. 

“From its inception, the beverage list at Gibney has had a clear vision to create a completely unique drinking experience. While other lists on both local and global scales focus on countries, regions, or wine types, this shifts the discourse to the producers and people behind these wineries,” Throsby said.

The still wine program focuses on producers and classics, simultaneously highlighting the idea of legacy and connection. There are countless invisible strings that tie wineries, places, and people together. This list aims to shine a light on them.

“The list was never meant to focus on one place, rather to tell stories from around the globe. There isn’t one particular producer or bottle that we can hang our hat on,” she said.

Some of the highlights include a full set of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti — one of the most illusive and expensive wines on the planet. As well as Wendouree — an Australian producer that has no cellar door, no distribution, and no way to buy the wine unless you write a handwritten letter, asking to be added to the mailing list.

“The wines speak for themselves. They do not need a marketing department to sell or create buzz. They sell themselves.”

The champagne

Gibney restaurant
Credit: Supplied

Champagne was another driving force behind the list. According to Throsby, the intention was to create an in-depth look at the region through a considered and curated lens.

“We didn’t want a shopping list of ubiquitous champagnes. We wanted a program that showed our dedication to the entire region. The list opens to two feature producers, Bollinger and Billiecart-Salmon that are at the top of their game and are the perfect gateway between icon brands and grower producers.”

The list then continues to explore three growers. These are smaller champagne houses who offer a different perspective into a region that is so often thought to be ruled by the larger conglomerates. Then finally, to the icons of champagne today — Cristal, Dom Perignon, and Krug.

Substantial time has been taken to write up each producer, place an establishment date, and list the current winemaker. Everything was done in an effort to create a considered and curated offering. According to Throsby, it will be a project that grows and changes with time. 

“If you come into Gibney, and walk out with a big smile, we’ve done our job. We want to make people feel special. Like ‘wow that was amazing,’” Kailis said.

Featured image: Gibney